Learning financial lessons

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Some of the hardest and most painful lessons young adults learn are the financial ones. Mistakes made with finances early in one’s adult life can easily have consequences that take many years to unwind.

A great new car might look nice in the driveway, but if the payments are too much to bear, the decision to buy it will cause more grief than any joy one might have experienced in driving it. It’s nice to eat out sometimes, but doing so frequently will quickly sap one’s bank account. And failing to save when one is young can mean that retirement — when age finally surpasses energy — is out of reach.

Unfortunately, for far too many of us, those lessons are only learned the hard way.


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That’s why Bayport Credit Union and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia teamed up this week to hold the annual Financial Football Camp at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

“We want to come in and provide a personal finance overview for what they can expect when they manage their own money,” Kris Moore, financial education supervisor with Bayport Credit Union of Greater Hampton Roads, said this week.

Children this week have been learning about banking, about cash flow and expenses, about investments and about the importance of saving.

By answering questions correctly, the participants have earned play money they have been able to use to buy toys and candy from an on-site store, but the smart ones have saved their dollars for the possibility of buying even better items at the end of the week.

Perhaps the most important lesson of all, however, has been learning the difference between needs and wants. That’s the lesson that trips most folks up, regardless of their age.

There are many things about being an adult that wind up being harder than we expected when we were kids. For those participating in this week’s financial camp, however, they may find that some of the hardest lessons were learned one summer when they were still kids.